Via monti larianiThe mountainous belt that runs almost parallel between the lake and the Swiss border is crossed by a dense network of trails. Among them, a route in stages suited to get a thorough knowledge of the entire territory is the ‘Via dei Monti lLariani’, a tour of medium altitude of about 125km connecting Cernobbio to Sorico. Our advice is to walk the path in the spring to enjoy the blooming meadows on the mountain pastures, or to immerse yourself in golden autumn beech forests. But above all, you can see the lake from every angle, in any light, looking out from the top of these incomparable natural balconies that you find along the Via Dei Monti Lariani. Suitable destination for visitors who seek and unfailingly found along this path, the picturesque landscape that gift us the Lake Como seen from above. It is for this reason that the Lario was an absolute must for romantic travelers of the Grand Tour in the eighteenth century. The lake and its forests, a certain Nordic gloom together with the Mediterranean radiance, which was lauded as one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

The ‘Via dei Monti Lariani’ remains on the ideal altitude between 600 and 1200 meters and follows a line that largely corresponds to the coast of the lake. Along this route you can take a leap into the past to understand what life was like and how you live in an area so complex: from the first migration to modern commuting. And smuggling, that here a stone’s throw from Switzerland has fed generations.

Different types of roads that the hiker will encounter along the way as the old ways that led to the mountain pastures. Once, when at the end of March ended the hay in the country, began a nomadic vertical transhumance. Before arriving on the pastures beasts were made to stand for about a month in so-called “munt”, intermediate locations between the valley and the pastures at high altitude. The same operation was repeated in September before returning to the stables.

Or the muletracks of stone, built by Comacini magistri, forerunner of the migratory movement and famous stone craftsmen. And again the military roads built to allow the construction of the Cadorna Line. After 1916 the slopes above the lake were the subject of an impressive defensive work towards a feared enemy attack, a system extended from Valle d’Aosta to Orobian, through the Larian valleys.

The official route is divided into four sections, but they are very long and difficult, so it is proposed to follow it in 5 stages. The first from Cernobbio to S. Fedele D’Intelvi; the second one from S. Fedele D’Intelvi to Cardano; the third from Cardano to Garzeno; the fourth from Garzeno to Peglio end the last one from Peglio to Sorico.

The ‘Via dei Monti Lariani’ is known all over the world, in fact many of the hikers who you can meet walking along it, are foreigners, who are very well organized, perhaps with buses that precede them with the luggage in the stage points. A trail suitable for everyone, more or less experienced, covering all the stages, only one or only a stretch but the emotions that are being given by these beautiful places are anyway unique and indescribable.

More excursions at Lake Como:

Piani Resinelli
The walk of Gir di Sant
Monte Crocione and Monte Tremezzo
Monte Grona